June 25, 2012 — Coral Gables — Boosting Miami’s economic growth through the creation of jobs and increasing the region’s ability to grow its trade prominence and become more competitive in the global marketplace was the topic of a major forum hosted by the University of Miami on June 19. Featuring business, civic, political, and foreign leaders, “Going Global: Boosting Miami’s Economic Future” was the third in a series of domestic and international forums being convened this year by the Global Cities Initiative, a $10 million, five-year joint project of the Brookings Institution and JPMorgan Chase.
The project focuses on helping leaders in metropolitan areas across the nation to create more and better jobs by reorienting their economies toward greater engagement in world markets.
UM President Donna E. Shalala delivered opening remarks at the forum, saying that Miami is “a great investment with enormous potential to create both private profits and public good.”
The first panel of the day discussed “Greater Miami’s Potential for Global Engagement.” Alice Ancona, senior vice president for governmental affairs at the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce, said that “Miami is a brand and we are recognized as such internationally. We benefit from that.” But she added that the challenges lay in coordinating efforts between the different local chambers and organizations that reached out to international markets.
Speakers at the forum included Tomás Regalado, mayor of the City of Miami; Carlos Gimenez, mayor ofMiami-Dade County; former Senator Mel Martinez, chair of Florida, Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean, JPMorgan Chase & Co.; UM President Shalala; Manny Mencia, senior vice president, Enterprise Florida; Carlos Valderrama, senior vice president for Global Initiatives, Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce; Alice Ancona, senior vice president for governmental affairs at the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce; Sam Kaplan, president of the Trade Development Alliance of Greater Seattle; Juan Flores, state freight and logistics administrator, Florida Department of Transportation; and Frank Santeiro, managing director, FedEx Express Latin American Caribbean Division.
Topics discussed included Miami’s current position in the global marketplace; opportunities to strengthen the region’s global economic competitiveness, particularly around freight and logistics; and how state and metro leaders can work together with international partners to expand global trade.
Launched this spring, the Global Cities Initiative is chaired by Richard M. Daley, former mayor of Chicago and senior advisor to JPMorgan Chase, and managed by Bruce Katz, vice president and co-director of the Brookings Metropolitan Policy Program. The next GCI forum will take place in São Paulo, Brazil, November 28-30.
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